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2023 State of the Great Lakes

Climate change has led to increased rainfall and reduced water quality.

The year is not yet over, but across the country, people have weathered a significant number of climate events: Californians experienced heavy rainfall from, landslides, and even a hurricane. The South grappled with extreme heat and the Midwest and Northeast are contending with dangerous air quality from wildfires in Canada. Now, the gulf and east coasts are bracing for another season of intense hurricane activity.

In the Great Lakes, climate change has led to increased rainfall, reduced water quality, rising temperatures, and fluctuating water levels. The climate crisis is a top priority for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the organization is working with the business community, academia, and other federal, state, and local agencies to build a climate ready nation.

As the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator, Dr. Richard Spinrad is responsible for the strategic direction of the agency. This includes developing NOAA’s products and services to address the climate crisis, enhancing environmental sustainability, fostering economic development, and creating a more equitable and diverse NOAA workforce. Prior to coming to the NOAA, Spinrad was Senior Adviser to the Vice President of Research and professor of Oceanology at Oregon State University. Dr. Spinard served as NOAA's chief scientist from 2014-2016 and led NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research and National Ocean Service from 2003-2010. He has also held leadership positions with the Office of Naval Research and the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command.


  • Richard W. Spinrad, Ph.D.Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


  • Betsy KlingChief Meteorologist, WKYC